Editorial

Kudos to city for implementing street-paving standards

Thursday, June 30, 2016

We've all experienced it: a bumpy ride on some Cape Girardeau streets. Why don't they do something to fix it, you might find yourself asking.

The reality is that the city does repair potholes, and has for years. But the source of the recurring issue lies below the surface: Many of Cape's streets were built on a dirt, rather than gravel, base, according to a recent story by Southeast Missourian reporter Mark Bliss.

Many of Cape Girardeau's concrete streets are 25 to 30 years old, and were built on compacted dirt rather than gravel, city manager Scott Meyer told Bliss. Building codes at the the time did not require the gravel. Consequently, the city spends a lot of time making the same repairs over and over.

Though the reason for paving over dirt is unknown, Meyer said the city adopted new development codes in 2010, and a four-inch gravel base is required for pavement. The gravel keeps moisture away from the concrete, helping prolong their life.

It was surprising to learn the gravel standard was not in place before 2010, but we give the city credit for implementing it. The plan is to spend Transportation Trust Fund 5 money to replace more than 100 segments of road, including paving some alleys, over the next five years.

We look forward to smoother driving on Cape Girardeau streets.

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